Saturday, August 2, 2008

Galactic Empires - Gardner Dozois

This one goes to 11. Or, 5.5 out of 5, on the usual scale.

Two years, two space opera anthologies, two great books. Six novellas from the most of New Space Opera superstars. So, a brilliant original anthology of space opera, and all novellas. Not the most likely thing to happen, but he pulled it off. Hopefully we won't need the mind-bending calculation power of one of Ian McDonald's characters to work out how likely the next one will be.

The book seems to be designed to progress in order of 'Wow'.

First, Peter F. Hamilton's, Paula Myo gets another case to investigate, and an odd one.

Secondly, Neal Asher gets a bit of a star war going, possibly with a tip of the hat to Jack L. Chalker, among more contemporary colleagues and not-moons.

Thirdly, Robert Reed's Great Ship harbors an immensely unsettling secret that croggles (or makes them cry) those who come across it.

Fourthly, Alastair Reynolds gest a bit Bleed-ing edge (for those Wildstormers), as the cracks in the walls of the universe prove traversable.

Fifth, Stephen Baxter manages more Xeelee stupendousness, with Ghosts and humans, and manages to make a conversation about quantum stellar engineering megaslaughter funny enough my spousal unit laughed when read to.

Last of all, Ian McDonald manages to ratchet up his story in stages until it gets, again, into mindblowing territory.

Really, really, great stuff.

Galactic Empires : The Demon Trap - Peter F Hamilton
Galactic Empires : Owner Space - Neal Asher
Galactic Empires : The Man with the Golden Balloon - Robert Reed
Galactic Empires : The Six Directions of Space - Alastair Reynolds
Galactic Empires : The Sear and the Silverman - Stephen Baxter
Galactic Empires : The Tear - Ian McDonald

Paula's shared punishment plan.

3.5 out of 5

This Collective could use a new boss and less alien invasion.

3.5 out of 5

Galactic Union revelation.

5 out of 5

Alternate universe Expansion Infrastructure Breakdown escape.

4.5 out of 5

Ghost abduction Rats Of the System experiment quagma supernova Susy ship shift.

4.5 out of 5

Extra Aspect Enemy Mine scalarity scare creation universe conflict.

5 out of 5

5 out of 5

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